Kempton Park racecourse in situated in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, UK. The track is surrounded by a park and woodland and there is easy access via Kemptom train station which was built especially for the course.
Kemptom Park has an inner and outer course and so can cater to both flat and national hunt racing. Three grade one races take place at the course too, the King George VI Chase, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and the Christmas Hurdle. All races for four year old horses and over.
The King George VI Chase is held on Boxing Day each year (as are the other two grade one races) and run over a distance of three miles. The steeplechase was first held in 1937 and has a purse of £225,000. it’s one of the most prestigious Chases in the country and has been won by such legends of the sport as Desert Orchid, back to back in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and Kauto Star four years in a row from 2006 to 2009, and again in 2011.
The successes of both Desert Orchid and Kauto Star are celebrated as part of this very December meeting with the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase taking place on Decmber 26th and Desert Orchid Chase on 27th.
The Christmas Hurdle is also a much respected grade one race. So much so that it’s part of the Triple crown of Hurdling, which also consists of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Newcastle) and the Champion Hurdle (Cheltenham). The Sir Michael Stoute trained Kribensis is the only horse to have won all three races (in 1989-1990).
The Kempton Park racecourse came to be when a 19th century businessman came across Kempton Park and Manor for sale and thought it would be an ideal site for a race course. The course is however set to close in 2021 with the grade one races moved to Sandown Park, as part of an investment program and to meet regional housing needs.